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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 20, 2017 -- Harness racing world champion Downbytheseaside (Dave Miller, $3.10) was as odds-on advertised Saturday night (May 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's lone $40,000 elimination for the 27th Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds. Starting from the second tier in the nine-to-get-to-eight foray, Downbytheseaside found himself three-wide at the half in a race that had much more movement than expected. Last season's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace winner, Summer Side (Ray Schnittker), made the first lead, stuffing Stealth Bomber (Brent Holland) in behind before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. However, Stealth Bomber wanted to no part of the pocket. That one made the lead, with last season's New York Sire Stakes champion Funknwaffles (Brian Sears) and 'Seaside' in hot pursuit. Downbytheseaside fronted the fray right at the :55.4 intermission, than continued toward a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Stealth Bomber then moved again, vacating a three-hole in front of Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley). Downbytheseaside opened a coupled of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.2. Miso Fast snapped Stealth Bomber for second, with Summer Side and Mac's Jackpot (Jason Bartlett) rounding out the payees. Funknwaffles tired to sixth, with Henry the Dragon (Montrell Teague) and rank outsider Rollin' About (Brent Holland) also earning invites to next Saturday night's (May 27th) $300,000 final. Heaven's Gait (Jordan Stratton) made a filthy break passing the three-quarters, winding up last and not making the finale. For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his second win in as many season starts (career 10-for-15). The exacta paid $$7.70, the triple returned $57 and the superfecta paid $341.50. "I was pleased with the race," Miller said. "I had to use him some early and ran in a bit in the turns, but we can work on that before the final." Downbytheseaside Miller began his evening drilling seven inside rivals (:28.4, :59.1, 1:27.4, 1:55.1) with Agent Q ($6.80) in the first of two, $20,000 elims for the Lismore (3-year-old pacing fillies). Last season's NYSS frosh champ, even-money choice Tequila Monday (Sears), wound up second from second-over, with Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) a first-up third. Ashlee's Spitfire (Dan Dube), at 50-1 the longest shot on the board, was fourth. That quartet returns for next Saturday night's $140,770 final. "Handy," was Miller's succinct description of his date. For second choice Agent Q, a daughter of Western Terror co-owned by Martin Scharf, Rochetti Racing and Robert Muscara, she's now 2-for-2 this season. Agent Q The second elimination for the Lismore, complete with no show wagering, saw the reason for same--3-10 favorite Ain't Three OK (Sears)--jump it off in the first turn and trail throughout. Pole-sitting Big City Betty (Jim Marohn Jr., $21.60) went the distance (:28.3, :58.1, 1:27, 1:55.2), whipping Gotthisone Hanover (George Brennan) by 2¼ lengths in a two-speed number. Warrawee Sunshine (Miller) was a ground-saving third as the 29-1 longshot, with Caviart Cherie (McCarthy) fourth and back for the final. For third choice 'Betty,' a Bettor's Delight miss co-owned by (trainer) Steve Salerno and Bruce Potter, it was her second win three '17 tries. The exacta paid $149, with the triple returning $965. "This filly has a quick turn of speed, but she has the manners of an older horse," Marohn said. "I never even saw what happened with Brian's (Sears') horse (Ain't Three OK), but mine was very comfortable." Big City Betty The open draw for both stakes finals takes place Monday afternoon (May 22nd). Saturday night's pair of $55,000 Open Handicaps were won by... - Trot, Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube, $19.60) in 1:55.3; Red Hot Herbie - Pace, Mach it So (Holland, $7.90) in 1:51.2. Mach it So Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 19, 2017 - A pocketed Lispatty (Mark MacDonald, $31.60) stalked and subdued a harness racing season-debuting Pure Country (Brett Miller) Friday night (May 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. On paper, it was a stacked sewing circle, decreased by one when Matchmaker conqueror (and this week's eight-hole assignee) Mackenzie A was a late-for-Lasix scratch. On the track, however, it was a nothing more than a two-speed number, with millionairess Pure County sent off a in her first Westchester appearance. From post position No. 5, the 4-5 fave easily worked around her pole-sitting rival before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. From there, it was a :56.4 intermission and 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Medusa (George Brennan) offering a weak, first-up try and third and the backfield gapping badly. Pure Country owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but Lispatty edged inside and edged by. The margin was a neck in a season's-best 1:52.3. Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) was third as the 53-1 rank outsider, with Mach it a Par (Brian Sears) and Medusa rounding out the payees. For sixth choice Lispatty, a 4-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Gilberto Garcia-Owen and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her second win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $114.50, with the triple returning $924. Lispatty Nerida Franco N Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 18, 2017 -- A reminder regarding Yonkers Raceway's return to Sunday harness racing matinees--May 28th--and a first post of 12:30 PM. Races 5 through (1:45 PM) through 8 (3:15 PM) are the 'French' trots, featuring oversized fields at the mile-and-a-quarter distance. Last post would be either 4:15 PM (11-race card) or 4:35 PM (12-race card). Also returning is the 'New York, New York Double,' which in this instance includes the third race from Belmont (post time 2:32 PM) and the seventh from Yonkers (post time 2:45 PM). Program pages for this wager ($1 minimum, 18½ percent takeout) shall be sent when available. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, May 15, 2017 - Nine harness racing 3-year-old gentlemen-six colts and three geldings-have been entered for Yonkers Raceway's 27th Art Rooney Pace. The number of entrants means there's a game of musical chairs this Saturday night (May 20th), as in nine in a $40,000 elimination paring down to the eight finalists. That octet is set to return week from Saturday (May 27th) for the $300,000 final. This season's Rooney is led by Downbytheseaside. The son of Somebeachsomewhere is a world record-holder as the fastest frosh (1:50 at Delaware, OH) ever over a half-mile oval. His life-best 1:49 Red Mile effort matched the world record for 2-year-olds at the two-turn mile. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has won nine of his 14 career starts ($596,016), hitting the board in all of them. He began his soph season with a 1:52.1 win in a 'sloppy' Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event at the Meadows. Brian Brown trains for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing. 'Seaside' is the Saturday night's back-of-the-bus number, starting from post position No. 9. The elim goes as the 8th race, drew as such... 1 - Funknwaffles (g), Brian Sears, 2 - Miso Fast, Matt Kakaley, 3 - Mac's Jackpot (g), Jason Bartlett, 4 - Summer Side, Ray Schnittker, 5 - Heaven's Gait. Jordan Stratton, 6 - Stealth Bomber, Brett Miller, 7 - Henry the Dragon, Montrell Teague, 8 - Rollin' About (g), Brent Holland, 9 - Downbytheseaside, Dave Miller. The companion event, the 13th edition of the Lismore, attracted 15 sophomore pacing fillies. Thus, a pair of $20,000 elims are carded this Saturday, with the first four finishers in each returning for the final ($140,770). First elim (4rh race)... 1 - Ashlee's Spitfire, Dan Dube, 2 - Rockette, Kakaley, 3 - Caviart Ally, Andrew McCarthy, 4 - Tequila Monday-Brian Sears, 5 - V String, McCarhty also listed (coupled with Caviart Ally), 6 - Planet Rock, Tim Tetrick, 7 - Twist of Fate, Mark MacDonald, 8 - Agent Q, Dave Miller. Second elim (5th race)... 1 - Big City Betty, Jim Marohn Jr., 2 - Caviart Cherie, McCarthy, 3 - World Apart, Tetrick, 4 - Gotthisone Hanover, George Brennan, 5 - Ain't Three OK, Sears, 6 - Ideal Plan, Bartlett, 7 - Warrawee Sunshine. McCarthy also listed. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 13, 2017 -- Favorites Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett, $2.90) and Somewhere in L A (Bartlett again, $4.40) delivered the goods Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's 'sloppy' pair of $55,000 harness racing co-features. 'Melady'--from post position No. 5--took down the week's marquee trot. Down the backside the second time he caught the parked-out Not Afraid (Dan Dube) after that one was rebuffed by pole-sitting Dewcolorintheline (Jordan Stratton). After early intervals of :28.1 and :58.2, Melady's Monet launched his wide bid, engaging Dewycolorintheline in and out of a 1:27.2 three-quarters. Buen Camino (Brian Sears) found himself perched behind 'Melady,' but could not matched strides. Melady's Monet opened a length lead into the lane, then widened to 2½ lengths at the (1:56.3) wire. Buen Camino did wind up second, with 29-1 rank outsider Luck O the Irish (catch-driver Steve Smith) third. Covert Operative (Brent Holland) and a tiring 'Dewy' grounded out the payees. For Melady's Monet, a millionaire 8-year-old Revenue S gelding owned by Melady Enterprises and trained by Kevin McDermott, it was his fourth win (44th career) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15, with the triple returning $133. Melady's Monet Somewhere in L A made short work of his seven inside rivals, winning the weekly featured pace by three lengths in 1:53.2. Paying a three-wide price to take the lead, he did so at a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. The rest was simple (:56.4, :1:24.3), made simpler when 41-1, pole-sitter Western Rockstar A (Dan Dube) decided to race first-up. Texicna N (Stratton) raced second, offering good pace at both ends of the mile. Third went to Betterlatethnnever (catch-driver Jeff Gregory), with locally-debuting Mister Daytona N (Andy McCarthy) tiring in the pocket to fourth. Badiou Hanover (Brent Holland) took care of the rest. For millionaire Somewhere in L A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D'elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P and Gandolfo Stables, it was his seventh win in 16 '17 tries. The exacta paid $23, the triple returned $129.50 and the superfecta paid $373.50. Somewhere in L A Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 12, 2017 - A first-up Freeze Out (Jordan Stratton, $8.10) did it with a flourish Friday night (May 12th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace for a fifth consecutive harness racing victory. Away fifth from post position No. 4, Freeze Out was uninvolved early as Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) quarter-moved past Apple Bottom Jeans (George Brennan). The 'Queen' made the lead just at :27.4 opening quarter-mile, then found a :56.2 intermission. Freeze Out took aim at her target going by a 1:25 three-quarters, then went past early in the lane. Freeze Out finished out winning by a length-and-a-half in a life-best 1:53.2. Apple Bottom Jeans, compromised sitting behind a tiring leader, closed inside for second, with Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley), Jag Out (Brent Holland) and a never-in-it 8-5 choice Mach it a Par (Brian Sears) rounding out the payees. For third choice Freeze Out, a 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, it was her seventh win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $138, the triple returned $890 and the superfecta paid $2,389. During her form spree, she hasn't once been sent off as the betting favorite. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 6, 2017 - A pair of down-the-roaders-Great Vintage (Dan Dube, $4) and Taco Tuesday (Jason Bartlett, $6.40)-were the Saturday night (May 6th) harness racing standouts, winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of $55,000 co-features. Great Vintage started inside his rivals in the blind-draw Open Pace, then took it the distance (:27.2, 56.4, 1:24.4, 1:52), though not without an elongated scrum with Blood Brother (Bartlett),. That one, having left into a three-hole, went after the leader in a big way. It was a back-half match race, with Great Vintage holding sway by a determined nostril. Orillia Joe (Brent Holland) held third-beaten 3½ lengths-with Roland N Rock (Jordan Stratton) and Te Kawau N (Brian Sears) For Great Vintage, a 9-year-old millionaire son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding and a pair of Gorans (Anderberg and Falk), it was his first win in a seven seasonal starts The exacta (two wagering choices paid $9.20, with the triple returning $33.60. Despite 'losing' the post position Nos. 3 through 7 draw, Taco Tuesday gave nothing else a shot (:28.2, :57.2, 1:25.4, 1:54.2) in the Open Handicap Trot. The result was the fastest local trot mile of the season. Springbank Sam N (Stratton) chased from the pocket, missing a length. It was more than six lengths back to eight-hole assignee Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory), with Showmeyourguns (Tyler Buter) and Pridecrest (Holland) settling for the minors. Red Hot Herbie (Dube), as the 11-10 fave, was an outrun sixth, beaten just a pair of breakers. For second choice Taco Tuesday, a 4-year-old Cantab Hall gelding owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Andrew Harris (off a barn change), it was his fifth win in nine '17 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $7.30, with the triple returning $34.20.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 5, 2017 - Harness racing favored Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $4.70) lasted on the lead Friday night (May 5th) , winning Yonkers Raceway's Cinco de Mayo $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace In play from post position No. 4, Sell a Bit N worked around Delightful Dragon (catch-driver Eric Goodell), then finished (:27.4, :57.2, 1:25.3, 1:54.1) what she started. Sell a Bit N defeated the 'Dragon' by a neck, with a two-move Dublin Rose (George Brennan) third. Caviart Cari Ann (Dan Dube) and Certified Ideal (Brian Sears) settled for the remainder. For Sell a Bit N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $17.40, the triple returned $82 and the superfecta paid $357. Sell a Bit N It turned out that fives were indeed wild for the fifth day of the fifth month. In addition to the ol' double-nickel purse for the feature, March Awareness (Mark MacDonald, $6.60)-horse No. 5 in race No. 5-rolled home by seven lengths in a $27,000 trot (1:56). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - It was a Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (May 2nd) for the harness racing bombardiers, with any number of prices pulverizing the tote board. The longest of the longshots was 32-1 Lauxmont Capri (Scott Zeron, $66.50), finding room in deep stretch to win the $16,500, sixth-race pace (1:55) and wrap a season-high $5,225 Pick 3. Lauxmont Capri's was tipped the proverbial iceberg, as Given Up Terror (Jordan Stratton, $37.60) won the $21,000, seventh-race pace (1:56) and Giddy Up Delight (Mark MacDonald, $48.60), won the $20,000, eighth-race pace (1:55.2). The 23-1 Giddy Up Delight led home 39-1 Road Untraveled and 56-1 For a Bettor Time in the opening race of the 'Jackpot Next Door' Claiming Series, which in turn led to an $838 exacta, a $1,335 triple (with 'All' for third) and an $11,622 superfecta (base $2 payout). Not to be outdone, Screaming Conway (Jeff Gregory, $33) won the $22,000, ninth-race trot (1:59) before a $179 late double of Eye ofa Tiger AS (Tim Tetrick, $19.80) in the $22,000, 11th-race trot (1:58.2) and Brigadoon (Billy Dobson, $23.20) in the $16,500, 12th-race pace. That made total of eight double-digit winners during the dozen-race program. Not surprisingly, no one took down the Tuesday Pick 5, so Thursday night's (May 4th) gimmick begins with a carryover of $3,366.46 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 29, 2017 - Lady's Dude (George Brennan, $7.30) and All Bets Off (Brennan again, $4.80) shared the Saturday night harness racing spotlight, winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of $55,000 co-featured Open Handicaps. After a couple of no-shot eight-holes, Lady's Dude found this post position No. 5 assignment more than acceptable in the week's featured trot. Caught three-deep early, Lady's Dude made the lead just before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. He then rated a 56.4 intermission before 17-10 favorite Melady's Monet (Brett Miller), who had left for a seat, moved from fourth. However, he couldn't get close and with a pocketed Not Afraid (Dan Dube) gapping, Lady's Dude had a lonely lead in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters. The advantage was a couple of lengths entering the lane and an unpressured length-and-a-quarter at the wire, finding it in 1:54.3...fastest local mile of the season. Aggressive (Jason Bartlett) saved ground for second, with Not Afraid third. Buen Camino offered good late interest for fourth, with Luck O' the Irish (Jordan Stratton) getting the final envelope and 'Melady' fading to seventh. For Lady's Dude, a 6-year-old Victory Sam gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Johnny Yoder and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his fourth win in nine seasonal starts (career earnings now over a half-million dollars). The exacta paid $63, with the triple returning $267. The week's adult-table pace had three unoccupied seats, as Levy Series winner Keystone Velocity and consolation winner Clear Vision were among the defections. The quintet was in need of a leader, and-from post No. 3-favored All Bets Off picked up that gauntlet. Though not the Free-For-Aller he used to be, All Bets Off was more than good enough when left (:27.4, 56.3, 1:24.3, 1:52.1) to his own devices. After taking a 2½-length lead into the lane, he held off a from-last Roland N Rock (Stratton) by three-quarters of a length. Santa Fe Beachboy (Bartlett),. Lucan Hanover (Tyler Buter) and a season-debuting Luck Be Withyou (Brian Sears) rounded out the order/payees. For All Bets Off, a 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight trained by Burke for co-owners himself, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his first win in five '17 tries. The exacta paid $14.40, with triple and superfecta wagering cancelled. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 28, 2017 - Freeze Out (Jordan Stratton, $8.90) was first-up and first home Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 2, Free Out saw Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) leaving around 9-10 choice Windsun Glory (George Brennan), the latter shoehorning herself into a pocket. Call Me Queen Be set early intervals of :27.3 and :57.4 before Freeze Out took out after her. She engaged the leader in and out of the third turn, dispatching her in and out of the (1:25.4) three-quarters. Freeze Out, continuing her form spree, opened to 2¾ lengths into the lane. The final margin was a length-and-a-half in 1:54. Motu Moonbeam N (Mark MacDonald) rallied into second, with a second-over Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) third. Apple Bottom Jeans (Brian Sears) and Keystone Riptide (Jason Bartlett) settled for the remainder. For third choice Freeze Out, a 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, it was her sixth win (fourth consecutive) win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $57, the triple returned $361.50 and the superfecta paid $2,203. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (April 29th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,110.41.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - "It ain't a fit night out for man or beast." Such were the words of W. C. Fields many decades ago, repeated Tuesday evening (Apr. 25th) before, during and after the $100,000 harness racing final of Yonkers Raceway's YR/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series. The all-card wind-driven rain didn't deter one man (Jeff Gregory) and one beast (Tight Lines, $2.40), who made short work of their rivals over the gooey going. The race wasn't officially over after the draw, but even those that weren't behind the eight-ball were in fact behind the eight-ball. From the pylons, Tight Lines deferred to a couple of early leavers before taking over from Golden Son (Jason Bartlett) From there, the only entrant to sweep all three preliminary legs hydroplaned his way to happiness (:28.1, :57.3, 1:26.3, 1:56.1). The final margin was 3¼ lengths over Pridecrest (Dave Miller), with Golden Son third. The minors went to Hillosophical (Tyler Buter) and Ameliosi (Yannick Gingras), while an out-the-mile Triumphant's Chip (Dan Dube), Windsong Magic (Brian Sears) and Steed (Joe Bongiorno) completed the order. For Tight Lines, a 4-year-old Yankee Glide gelding co-owned by his trainer/driver, Jesmeral Stable and William Richardson, is was his fifth win (all at odds-on) in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.20, the triple returned $45.40 and the superfecta paid $290.50. "The weather didn't play a part in my strategy." Gregory said. "I figured a few of the others would take a shot leaving and I wasn't going to stand mine on his head in the first turn. I thought I'd be able to get to the front at some point. "I paid him into some stakes for 4-year-olds, including the Graduate and Hambletonian Maturity," Gregory said. "He's going to have to step up his game to go with those trotters. If not, he stays here (Yonkers)." As per the conditions of the series, a $10,000 bonus was awarded to the winner by the SOA of New York. A $35,000 series consolation was won by Showmeyourguns (Jordan Stratton, $2.40, part of entry) in 1:58.2. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017 - When the 92-year-old boss flies in from San Diego, you don't want to disappoint him. Good thing Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton, $12.80) held up her end of the bargain Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $310,600 harness racing final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Sitting chilly from post position No. 4, Mackenzie A watched as Lispatty (Brian Sears) leave hard from the pylons, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) second and 9-10 choice Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) third...all three away in post position order. Meanwhile, Regil Elektra (Yannick Gingras) and Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) tried to leave, only to get parked for their troubles (the latter badly compromised by the former). It was Lispatty leading at the :26.4 opening quarter-mile before Mach it a Par move to take the baton approaching the :55.1 intermission. Down the backside, Shesjustadelight N took out of third, with Mackenzie A third and Medusa (Matt Kakaley) staying in. Mach it a Par was seemingly in control in and out of a 1:23.4 three-quarters, with the uncovered rival pacing in place, forcing Mackenzie A wide. It was Mach it a Par owning a length-and-half lead into the lane, but company was coming. Mackenzie A blew on by, widening to win the ninth Matchmaker by 2¾ lengths in in life-best 1:53.1. Medusa, who had left the cones, failed to match strides with the winner but was a rallying second, with 81-1 rank outsider Diva's Image (Joe Bongiorno) a closing third. That one found her way into the final after original eight-holer Empress Deo came up ill. Mach it a Par faded to fourth, with Shesjustadelight N fifth and Lispatty, Regil Elektra and Bedroomconfessions bringing up the rear. For co-second choice Mackenzie A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by the nonagenarian Harry von Knoblauch (a fine TV interview) and his daughter, Ellen Kinser and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her second win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $167, the triple returned $6,251 the superfecta paid $19,960 (base $2 payout). "I thought I have to race her from off the pace," Stratton said. "The trip worked out perfect for us. I knew there were horses behind and I wanted to move." Stratton won the inaugural edition of the race in 2009 with Pancleefandarpels. Mackenzie A A $75,000 series consolation was won by Hidden Land (Bartlett, $9.50) in 1:54.1. Hidden Land Saturday night's $55,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $4.70) in 1:56.4. Barn Doll Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $24.80) was hard-used early and hard-headed late Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $529,000 final of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The sport's richest race of the season to date again honored the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway. At the outset of the 30th Levy, pole-sitting McWicked (Matt Kakaley) was-not surprisingly-put into play. He was joined by Keystone Velocity, who from post position No. 4, forged to the lead just after a spiffy :26.1, opening quarter-mile. Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), leaving right outside of Keystone Velocity, was caught three-wide and forced to wrangle back to fourth. McWicked, who had retaken the lead in the second turn, found a :54.4 intermission before longshot Blood Brother (Brian Sears) moved from third. He uncoupled stablemate Somewhere in L A latched from second-over, with even-money choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and last season's champion, Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), at the back of that train. McWicked maintained his advantage through a 1:22.3 intermission three-quarters (:27.4 third station), taking a tenuous lead into the lane. However, his night was about to come to a unsatisfying conclusion. McWicked was done early off final turn, but not before taking Keystone Velocity to the promised land of the passing lane. It was Keystone Velocity fighting off the race's other tough mile, beating Somewhere in L A by a head in 1:51.2. Missile J settled for third, beaten a length, with a very-wide Bit of a Legend N fourth and 107-1 proposition Soto (Brett Miller) grabbing the final pay envelope. Blood Brother, Pcovocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked completed the order. For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his third win (as the fifth choice) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135.50, the triple returned $593 and the superfecta paid $2,406. "Rene (Allard) and I talked before the race and we decided we had to leave the gate," Dube said. "I was just hoping Matt (Kakaley, with McWicked) could get me to the lane. My horse felt very strong, but I did see the other one (Somewhere in L A) coming." The driver/trainer combination won this race two seasons ago with Domethatagain, also with a two-hole trip. Keystone Velocity A $100,000 series consolation was won by Clear Vision (Miller, $8.40) in 1:51.3. Clear Vision Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 21, 2017- 'Twas the night before the harness racing finals of the George Morton Levy and Blue Chip Matchmaker and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... ...except for Jordan Stratton. The lad had himself a Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Apr. 21st), winning a personal-best six races during the 11-race card. "I can't explain it," Stratton said. "Everything I drove raced very well. It was just one of those nights." What made Stratton's run that much more impressive was there was nary a favorite in sight. He swept the $150 early double with a first-up That'll Be the Rei ($20.20) in the $23,000, first-race pace (1:53.2) and a down-the-road Mass Balance ($15) in the $27,000, second-race trot (1:57). After taking the third race off, Stratton struck again in the $27,000, fourth-race pace, this time with a closing Ambro Courage N ($43.40) in 1:54.3. Win No. 4 came behind a come-from-behind Lease Ness Monster ($32.60), roaring from the back of the bus in the $27,000, fifth-race pace (1:54.4). Stratton was then parked leaving from the eight-hole in the fifth race--backpedaling to last-then 'won the bob' in the night feature. Freeze Out ($15.60) rallied to take the $40,000, seventh-race Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace by a scant schnoz in 1:54.2. Freeze Out Stratton's happy-half dozen concluded with Platoon Seelster ($21), who scooped up the $27,000, eighth-race trot (1:57.1) after 3-10 favorite Frost Free Hanover (George Brennan) jumped it off on the lead. Stratton ended his night finishing fourth, third and second, respectively. Additional props to driver Brent Holland for his hat trick Friday night. No one took down the Pick 5, so Saturday night's (Apr. 22nd) gimmick begins with a carryover of $3,206.32 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). The Raceway's seven-figure Saturday includes the sport's two richest races of the season to date. $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker-8th race (approximate post 9:35 PM) PP-Horse Driver M/L 1-Lispatty Brian Sears 7-1 2-Shesjustadelight N Ron Cushing 4-1 3-Mach it a Par Jason Bartlett 2-1 4-Mackenzie A Jordan Stratton 20-1 5-Regil Elektra Yannick Gingras 5-2 6-Medusa Matt Kakaley 20-1 7-Bedroomconfessions Scott Zeron 6-1 8-Diva's Image Joe Bongiorno 20-1   $529,000 George Morton Levy Memorial-10th race (approx. post 10: 15 PM) PP-Horse Driver M/L 1-McWicked Matt Kakaley 3-1 2-Blood Brother Brian Sears 12-1 3-Missile J Tim Tetrick 4-1 4-Keystone Velocity Dan Dube 9-1 5-Somewhere in L A Jason Bartlett 2-1 6-Bit of a Legend N Jordan Stratton 5-1 7-Provocativeprincen Yannick Gingras 20-1 8-Soto Brett Miller 12-1 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - It's one thing to stand out against many of the finest older harness racing pacers in training. It's quite another to do it as a young'un. Missile J, a relative toddler at the age of four, finds himself worthy of a seat at Saturday night's (Apr. 22nd) adult table for Yonkers Raceway's $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. This race, and its companion, the $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker, are the sport's two richest of the season to date. The Levy, of course, honors the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway. Back to Missile J we go. The son of American Ideal, already with last season's Art Rooney Pace (for then-owner Ken Jacobs and then-trainer Linda Toscano) here highlighting the resume, was the leader in the Levy clubhouse after winning his first three series starts. With his place in the final thus secured, he took the fourth week off before a 'just don't get hurt' fifth-place effort in last Saturday's (Apr,. 15th) final prelim leg, winding up third in the standings. According to the U-S Trotting Association's Anne Chunko, just four of the previous 29 winners of this race have been 4-year-olds. Though Missile J won the Rooney flashing eight-hole speed, his success in the Levy has been the result of some eye-popping closes. "He's a bit of a hothead," trainer Scott DiDomenico said. "Once you start him up, it's hard to throttle him back down." DiDomenico took over training after the horse changed hands for $115,000 at the Meadowlands sale this past January. This season's early results (in seven wins in nine starts) came on the hooves of a very poor end to 2016, when Missile J finished seventh in the final of the Empire Breeders (Tioga) and eighth (last) in the final of the New York Sire Stakes (here). "We (along with co-owners John McGill and Brian Carsey) just wanted a good Yonkers Saturday night horse," DiDomenico said. "There was no thinking he'd be in the Levy. "I knew he was a high-speed horse who could sprint and was raced hard. He seemed a bit tired at the end of last season, but the first few times we raced him this season (Meadowlands), he was so good that we decided to take a shot and nominate him." In winning his first three series legs, Missile J rallied from sixth, fourth and sixth, snatching victories from venues not usually associated with Westchester win photos. "He wants to chase horses, but even he surprised me a couple of times," DiDomenico-who added an open bridle to the horse's wardrobe--said. "What that allowed us to do was given him a week (round 4) off, and that was big. This is a grueling series, and not having to race every Saturday was a big plus. "Also, having (Timmy) Tetrick each week has been great. The pair leave from post position No. 3 in the Levy. "I have one of the best drivers in the sport and I love the draw," DiDomenico said. "There's speed inside and outside and he (Tetrick) can just watch things unfold. Now, Missile J just has to execute." For all of Tetrick's accomplishments, he has never won this race. The 34-year-old DiDomenico, an Illinois expatriate who earlier this season earned his 1,000th career training victory, has enjoyed his greatest success with the $1.4 million pacing lass, Handsoffmycookie. "Personally, it would be special to win this race, especially here (Yonkers). It's where I've mainly raced the past number of years, and it's where I always prefer to race." Apparently, his charge feels the same way. The field for the 2017 Levy, which goes as the 10th of 12 races (first post 7:10 PM, race is approximately 10:15 PM)... 1-McWicked (Matt Kakaley, 3-1), 2-Blood Brother (Brian Sears, 12-1), 3-Missile J (Tim Tetrick, 4-1), 4-Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, 9-1), 5-Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, 2-1), 6-Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, 5-1), 7-Provocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras, 20-1), 8-Soto (Brett Miller, 12-1). Frank Drucker

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